The 6-11 center did turn in an impressive 15.61 PAWS 40 (for more on that stat, click http://www.dailythunder.com/modern-stats/), or better than anyone else in most mock draft’s top five. That includes guys like Turner, Wesley Johnson, Derrick Favors, and Wall.
(To see how PAWS 40 did in rating previous draft prospects, click here and here. Like most draft boards, it has its hits and misses.)
Wall’s flashier, but Cousins put up better tempo-free stats in 2009-10 and arguably was the most important player in Kentucky’s roster. Also, Cousins will probably have an easier transition to the NBA. Big men usually do.
But does all that mean the Wizards should really take Cousins? After all, using only a freshman season of stats doesn’t provide the complete picture of how a player will project into the NBA. Should Wall get a bump because he’s more mature and less likely to make dumb off-court decisions? And what about in five years when both will finally be seasoned vets? Who’s better at that point?
So many questions. Leonisis better consider more than just PAWS 40.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.